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Mostly Dead Things

A Novel
Written by: Kristen Arnett
Narrated by: Jesse Vilinsky
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: LGBT, Literature & Fiction
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo's wife - and the only person Jessa's ever been in love with - walks out without a word. 

As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother's art escalates - picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose - and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them. 

Kristen Arnett's debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love. 

An Esquire Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 2019 - Books to Keep on Your Radar
A Huffington Post Pick of 2019 - Books We're Looking Forward To
A Boston Globe Pick of Books We Can't Wait to Read
A Bustle Pick of 2019's Books to Add to Your Reading List

©2019 Kristen Arnett (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Mostly Dead Things

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn Bierle
  • 2019-08-04

not funny, not even a little bit believable

not a funny book, self depricating in the worst way. the love angle was weird and forced.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Megan T
  • 2019-06-10

Animal lovers beware.

I love that this book has a queer main character and a unique story line but I couldn’t finish reading it. Animals are not treated well in this book. I finally stopped reading and left this book unfinished because several beautiful peacocks were killed, in a callus and flippant way. And that was not the first time I nearly stopped reading due to the treatment of animals, it had just been the last straw. Didn’t like the characters and hated the flippant disregard of animals and their treatment. Animals lovers should definitely beware before reading this book.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 2020-04-29

Surprisingly Sweet

I enjoyed a lot of things about this book. To name a few:

1. It was queer without the entire storyline having to be about the drama of being queer.
2. It humanized imperfect people. I read, “Normal People,” earlier this year and it felt similar in this vein.
3. It humanized poor people. It explored the complexity of grief and human emotion.

I can’t wait to read more from Kristin Arnett..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-04

Awesome

This is a fascinating and moving story that captures the intricate nature of family relationships and learning how to let go.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 2019-11-25

Save your time and money...

I seldom write reviews, everyone is entitled to an opinion on the books they read but this book is spectacularly bad. I'm not offended by the references to taxidermy, although the gratuitous killing of exotic animals for profit and pleasure is appalling. No where does the main character even reference the fact that the animals are more beautiful and amazing alive than stuffed for her pleasure or to prove her prowess. The sex stuff is even weirder and I sincerely hope the author uses the proceeds from this book to get counseling.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ruan Relations
  • 2019-08-02

Buy the hardcover book instead

I think I would’ve liked this much more if the reader didn’t take every word so seriously. Story wise, there was a lot to play around with but I felt the narrator had no interest in trying out any other tone but blasé boredom.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs whelehan
  • 2019-06-11

Unimpressed

Just really unimpressed and story kind hard to understand and felt there was no point to the story

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-06-07

Ugh.

There was not a single character in this novel that wasn’t trash. Interesting premise, poor character development, subpar narration.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Camping Bs
  • 2020-05-01

I heard that this was funny, but it wasn't

I heard this book was funny and heart warming. it's miserable for all but 1 chapter at the end. I just wanted it to end.

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  • Carson
  • 2020-04-17

Difficult to get through

The story is pretty bland. I assumed this would be funny and it really wasn't, or at least it wasn't my type of humor. I felt like the stories of Brynn and her mother's suggestive animal poses were drawn out. I just didn't feel like there was a real story here. The description was more exciting than the book.